As a lover of technology, I find this topic not an easy one, however I am human. Automation makes all of our lives easier. Right? Example, content marketing that adds value to readers. That’s good. Automation also decisively cuts out the moral dilemma on “is this right or wrong”, basically leading to unethical marketing ploys. Example, mindless spam. That is bad.
There are some highly powerful, useful and credible marketing automation tools out there that can make a world of difference. Many offer deep insights that allow you to pivot smarter. Google Adwords. Kissmetrics. Others make things simpler so you can work effectively to execute your tactical marketing. Hootsuite. Workfront. The best do both. Hubspot. WordPress.
What bothers me are the bots that fake connections on Twitter then drop you… or spam machines that hit your blog with comments about their product just to see if they can get some exposure… or the email monsters how trick you into getting on their lists then sell your email to anyone and everyone who will buy it… or (insert yours here).
There are no shortage of marketing scam stories out there. Which all give marketing a bad wrap, leaving our audiences with not only a bad taste in their mouthes, but also create endless heaps of clutter that distract and desensitize them. Make the rest of our jobs that much harder.
I wonder how many of those are relevant, authentic, or of value.
Companies once felt they were at the helm of getting their messages to prospects to create action. Today, control decisively has switched. Consumers are using their own tools to weed out who, how and when they want to be exposed to marketing content. Marketers can play if they use real-time streamlined intelligent data to better understand the individuals that make up the market, then develop authentic ways to reach them and enrich their lives.
The best companies are actually handing the controls over to their market. The believe in their brand promise and customer experience that strongly. Acxiom opened this door by allowing customers to see their own data. Transparency is a good step in the right direction.
Savvy technology users and smart consumers are better equipped to sniff out the bull than ever before. Once you are blacklisted by them, the expense to get these consumers to pay attention to you again is astronomical. The great thing for ethical marketers and the bad thing for the unethical ones is how easy it is for these tales to be told far and wide. When information goes viral it spreads at warp speed. Oh, and it is out there FOREVER.
Word to the Wise: So when you are out there building your marketing plans do us all a favor, make sure they are innovative and creative, while leaving out the diabolical trickster mentality.
*Photo Credit: Daniel Oines